Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Ford Puma SUV review

"The Ford Puma is the best small SUV to drive and it’s highly rated by its owners"

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Price
£25,770 - £33,010

Pros

  • Fun to drive
  • Practical
  • Good value

Cons

  • Polarising looks
  • Limited engine choice
  • Average warranty

Verdict - Is the Ford Puma a good car?

The Ford Puma is a small SUV that's the brand's best-selling car in the UK. With fashionable looks, excellent handling and punchy engines it shares a good deal with the now-retired Ford Fiesta, albeit in a more practical package. You sit higher up than in a supermini, and there's more ground clearance, along with extra space in the back seats and boot – even if some rivals offer even more room. Interior quality is only average, but equipment and technology is plentiful with most trim levels. 

Ford Puma models, specs and alternatives

You may remember when the Ford Puma was a sleek, sporty coupe that could turn heads on a high street and wonder why, after a near two-decade hiatus, has Ford attached this name to a small SUV

Advertisement - Article continues below

The good news is that while the sleek ‘90s coupe is long gone, the latest Puma has more in common with its predecessor than you may think. It uses a Ford Fiesta platform and – despite its looks – it is still great fun to drive. The latest Puma has even proven itself in the WRC (the World Rally Championship).

Best small SUVsTop 10 best small SUVs 2024

That’s really where the similarities end, which is great news for families looking for a fun and affordable small SUV. The Puma sits in the Ford SUV lineup between the EcoSport and Kuga, and while it’s based on the Ford Fiesta platform it feels considerably bigger thanks to its sporty crossover stance and a boot that’s more spacious than a Focus hatchback.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

More reviews

In-depth reviews

If there's a class in which a quirky design has proved successful before, it's the one the Puma now finds itself in; the Nissan Juke that effectively kicked off the crossover segment looked like nothing else on sale. That's also true of the Toyota C-HR, even if a few other contenders, such as the Skoda Kamiq and SEAT Arona, represent more conventional designs.

Unlike rivals such as the Juke and Peugeot 2008, the inside of the Puma is much more traditional. Sit in one of the car’s seats and the Puma feels a lot like a Fiesta on stilts, albeit a roomier one thanks to extra space in all directions. There's a new digital instrument cluster for the first time in a Ford, but the central infotainment screen is familiar and some of the dark grey plastics are rather unadventurous. At least the touchscreen itself is clear and easy to use.

Advertisement - Article continues below

There are two versions of Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, namely the entry-level 123bhp with mild-hybrid tech and a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox, and a more powerful variant with 153bhp. This three-cylinder petrol engine is well suited to the Puma's lively character, with the most powerful version offering brisk acceleration from 0-62mph in nine seconds. The mild-hybrid system works effectively to harness the energy usually wasted while slowing down, using it to take some strain off the combustion engine. The resulting figures of around 48-50mpg with CO2 emissions ranging between 127-140g/km make the Puma affordable to run for private buyers, although company car drivers would be better off considering something like a Renault Captur E-Tech Hybrid, thanks to its low Benefit-in-Kind tax rating.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

It might be fairly tall, but Ford's engineers have worked their magic on the Puma's chassis, and it's a good crossover to drive, with a pleasant manual gearbox, nice steering and little body lean. Know-how and some shared parts with the excellent Fiesta help here, and the Puma feels as engaging as many well-sorted hatchbacks. 

For buyers who want a Puma with more punch, the Ford Puma ST is also available. It uses the same 197bhp engine as the Fiesta ST hot hatch and manages the 0-62mph benchmark sprint in 6.7 seconds.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Titanium, ST-Line, ST-Line X and ST-Line Vignale trim levels are available. New for 2022 is the ST-Line X Gold Edition, which adds several bits of exterior bling such as gold alloy wheels and a set of racing stripes. Standard kit on the Puma includes 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, wireless phone charging and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. ST-Line adds a sporting makeover and digital instrument panel, while ST-Line X brings part-leather trim, tinted glass and a B&O sound system.

At the top of the range, the ST-Line Vignale gets a model-specific alloy wheel design and tweaked styling with a mix of black gloss and chrome trim. Inside, imitation leather-trimmed seats are fitted, with matching trim on the instrument cluster. There's also a Vivid Ruby Edition, with distinctive paintwork and a contrasting black roof and exterior trim, which comes fully loaded with kit. 

Larger in every direction than the Fiesta, the Puma is big enough to steal some Focus sales, and its 456-litre boot is actually a bit bigger and more practical, with a handy washable storage 'MegaBox' liner, adjustable floor and flexible parcel shelf that accommodates tall items. There's also decent room in the back for passengers, although it misses out on the sliding rear bench of the Renault Captur.

Small SUV sales have been increasing and Ford needs the Puma to clinch as much of the market as possible. The Puma has consistently been one of the UK’s best-selling cars in recent years, with ‘Blue Oval’ since cancelling the long-running Fiesta in order to focus on its SUV lineup. Ford has also announced that an all-electric version of the Puma is coming as part of its new ‘Model-E’ sub-brand, although this is still a year or so away. A facelifted Puma has also been spotted testing, and it's expected to hit showrooms in 2024.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,415

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,415

Fastest

  • Name
    1.5 EcoBoost ST 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £31,435

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

SEAT Tarraco SUV review – good-value seven-seat SUV
SEAT Tarraco driving
In-depth reviews
24 May 2024

SEAT Tarraco SUV review – good-value seven-seat SUV

All-new Kia EV3 is a shrunken EV9 with 372 miles of range
Kia EV3 front quarter
News
23 May 2024

All-new Kia EV3 is a shrunken EV9 with 372 miles of range

Hyundai Kona Electric review – more refined, spacious and upmarket than before
Hyundai Kona Electric driving
In-depth reviews
22 May 2024

Hyundai Kona Electric review – more refined, spacious and upmarket than before

New Jeep Avenger 4xe brings a host of off-roading upgrades
Jeep Avenger 4xe through water
News
22 May 2024

New Jeep Avenger 4xe brings a host of off-roading upgrades

Most Popular

New MINI John Cooper Works first look! Petrol and electric hot hatch coming this year
MINI John Cooper Works camo front quarter
News
20 May 2024

New MINI John Cooper Works first look! Petrol and electric hot hatch coming this year

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
24 May 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Speed awareness course: what to expect and who’s eligible?
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
17 May 2024

Speed awareness course: what to expect and who’s eligible?

More on Puma

Top 10 best small SUVs 2024
Best small SUVs
Best cars
20 May 2024

Top 10 best small SUVs 2024

They’re more popular than ever, but which small SUVs are the best? We cover our top 10
The UK's top 10 best-selling cars 2024
The UK's best-selling cars hero
Best cars
8 May 2024

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars 2024

April 2024 is now behind us, and with the year well underway, we list the top 10 best-selling cars of the year so far
Hot car deal: best-selling Ford Puma small SUV for £255 a month
Ford Puma - front 3/4
Deals
9 Apr 2024

Hot car deal: best-selling Ford Puma small SUV for £255 a month

Our hot car deal for April 9th is the popular Ford Puma in sporty ST-Line trim for just £255 a month
Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?
Ford Puma SUV front tracking
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?

Everything you need to know about Ford’s high-efficiency EcoBoost engine technology
New Ford Puma Gen-E: best-selling SUV to go electric
Electric Puma Render
News
1 Mar 2024

New Ford Puma Gen-E: best-selling SUV to go electric

One of the UK’s favourite family cars will get an all-electric version this year – here’s everything we know so far
Facelifted Ford Puma arrives with fewer buttons, but more tech
Ford Puma facelift
News
7 Feb 2024

Facelifted Ford Puma arrives with fewer buttons, but more tech

Ford has facelifted the Puma small SUV, bringing an updated exterior and more touchscreen-based tech
Top 10 best used SUVs 2024
Top 10 best used SUVs
Best cars
5 Feb 2024

Top 10 best used SUVs 2024

Want to find an affordable SUV? Check out our list of the top 10 best used SUVs available
Hot car deal: Eye-catching Ford Puma compact SUV for £203 a month
Ford Puma SUV driving
Deals
25 Jan 2024

Hot car deal: Eye-catching Ford Puma compact SUV for £203 a month

Fun-to-drive with plenty of practicality; our hot car deal for 25 January is the Ford Puma for just £203 a month
Skip advert
Advertisement
Top 10 best sports and performance SUVs 2024
Top sports and performance SUVs hero
Best cars
8 Jan 2024

Top 10 best sports and performance SUVs 2024

Need a blend of speed and space? These are the best performance SUVs to choose
Top 10 best used small SUVs
Best used small SUVs
Best cars
16 Nov 2023

Top 10 best used small SUVs

Looking for a small but family-friendly used car? Read our list of the best used small SUVs you can buy
Refreshed Ford Puma spied ahead of 2024 facelift
Ford Puma facelift 2024
News
12 Sep 2023

Refreshed Ford Puma spied ahead of 2024 facelift

An updated Ford Puma is on its way, to include a revised ST that’s now Ford’s most affordable hot hatch
Ford Puma ST SUV review
Ford Puma ST Powershift 1
In-depth reviews
9 Aug 2023

Ford Puma ST SUV review

"The Ford Puma ST is great to drive, has a brilliant engine and offers all the practicality of an SUV with hot hatch thrills"
New Ford Puma ST Powershift gets auto gearbox
New Ford Puma ST Powershift 1
News
8 Mar 2023

New Ford Puma ST Powershift gets auto gearbox

The Ford Puma range is to get a mild-hybrid automatic model sitting just below the fiery ST in the lineup
Best-selling Ford Puma loses five-star safety rating
Ford Puma - Euro NCAP
News
8 Dec 2022

Best-selling Ford Puma loses five-star safety rating

Ford’s small SUV is rated four stars in Euro NCAP’s final batch of safety results for 2022
Toyota Yaris Cross vs Ford Puma vs Renault Captur: rivals comparison
Toyota Yaris Cross vs Ford Puma vs Renault Captur: rivals comparison
News
2 Jan 2022

Toyota Yaris Cross vs Ford Puma vs Renault Captur: rivals comparison

These three small SUVs are fashionable and affordable but which one is best?
Ford Puma: old vs new
Ford Puma old vs new header image
News
26 Apr 2021

Ford Puma: old vs new

Ford surprised fans by using the 'Puma' name for its new SUV - we see how it compares with the original coupe
Ford Puma vs Renault Captur - rivals comparison
Ford Puma vs Renault Captur header
News
19 Mar 2021

Ford Puma vs Renault Captur - rivals comparison

Both these cars are worth considering if you want a small SUV but which is best?
Skip advert
Advertisement
2020 Ford Puma ST performance SUV breaks cover
News
24 Sep 2020

2020 Ford Puma ST performance SUV breaks cover

New Ford Puma ST has 197bhp and sprints from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds
2020 Ford Puma ST teased ahead of September reveal
News
10 Aug 2020

2020 Ford Puma ST teased ahead of September reveal

Performance-focused Ford Puma ST will use same 197bhp engine as Fiesta ST and cost around £27,000
Ford Puma gets automatic gearbox and ST-Line X Vignale trim
News
1 Jun 2020

Ford Puma gets automatic gearbox and ST-Line X Vignale trim

2020 Ford Puma available in new top-spec ST-Line X Vignale trim

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024